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Hurricane Beryl heads for Mexico after sweeping through eastern Caribbean | Weather News

Hurricane Beryl heads for Mexico after sweeping through eastern Caribbean | Weather News

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The storm has left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean and is expected to hit Mexico’s coast early on Friday.

Hurricane Beryl swept through several Caribbean islands, leaving at least seven people dead in its wake before rumbling past the Cayman Islands early on Thursday.

The hurricane ripped off roofs in Jamaica and left more than 400,000 people without power, according to the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, citing a public service company.

It also reportedly damaged or destroyed 95 percent of homes on a pair of islands in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

What had been the earliest storm to develop into a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic weakened to a Category 3 by early Thursday, but remained a major hurricane.

Jamaica Hurricane
A woman looks at a beach littered with rubbish at Bull Bay, Jamaica, in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl on July 4, 2024 [Ricardo Makyn/AFP]

Preparations under way in Mexico

Hurricane Beryl is now headed for Mexico’s popular Caribbean coast.

“Weakening is forecast during the next day or two, though Beryl is forecast to remain a hurricane until it makes landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula,” the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 8am (12:00 GMT) update.

In Playa del Carmen, most businesses were closed on Thursday, and some were boarding up windows.

In Tulum, Mexico’s Navy patrolled the streets, telling tourists in Spanish and English to prepare for the storm’s arrival.

Early on Thursday morning, the storm’s centre was about 95 miles (150km) west-southwest of Grand Cayman island and 330 miles (530km) east-southeast of Tulum.

It had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 km/h) and was moving west-northwest at 18 mph (about 30 km/h).

The head of Mexico’s civil defence agency, Laura Velazquez, said that Beryl is expected to be a Category 1 hurricane when it hits a relatively unpopulated stretch of Mexico’s Caribbean coast south of Tulum early Friday.

But once Beryl re-emerges into the Gulf of Mexico a day later, she said it is again expected to build to hurricane strength and could hit right around the Mexico-US border at Matamoros.

That area was already soaked in June by Tropical Storm Alberto.

Velazquez said temporary storm shelters were being set up at schools and hotels if needed.

She said efforts to evacuate a few highly exposed villages – like Punta Allen, which sits on a narrow spit of land south of Tulum – had been only partially successful.



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